When the Mass Officially Begins
A DAILY DISPATCH FROM ZENIT ON THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER 2009, THE MASS OFFICIALLY BEGINS (ZENIT) Father Edward McNamara, a Legionary of Christ and a professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, responded to the question. Q: When does the official start of the Mass take place? If it’s the introit, or if it’s the sign of the cross, as it is in a Mass celebrated without a congregation, what do you think it means? The sign of the cross is made first, followed by the reading of the Introit Antiphon, which is considered to be the case in the case of retired priests who celebrate Mass alone.
In addition, when the choir is singing either the introit with all of the psalm verses or a hymn with numerous verses, and the celebrant is left standing at the chair waiting for the music to conclude, the issue occurs.
— Denver, Colorado resident F.G.
47-50 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), the Mass might begin in one of numerous ways.
After the people have assembled, the Entrance Chant begins as the priest, deacon, and ministers make their way inside the church.” With this chant, the celebrant seeks to “begin the celebration, strengthen the bond of solidarity among all who have assembled, orient their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festival, and provide musical accompaniment to the procession of the priest and ministers.” During this period, the choir alternates with the people in singing, or in a similar manner, the cantor sings with the people, or the people sing exclusively, or the choir sings only When it comes to the Entrance Chant, there are four possibilities available in the dioceses of the United States of America: The antiphon from the Roman Missal or the Psalm from the Roman Gradual as set to music in the Roman Missal or in another musical setting; (2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Simple Gradual; (3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another suitable liturgical song, If there is no singing at the entry, the antiphon in the Missal is repeated either by the faithful, or by a group of them, or by a lector; if there is no singing at the entrance, the antiphon in the Missal is pronounced by the priest himself, who may even modify it as an introductory explanation.” 51 When the Entrance Chant is completed, the priest takes his place at the head of the table and, together with everyone in the congregation, makes The Sign of the Cross.
- He then uses the Greeting to communicate to the assembled people that the Lord is present among them.
- Immediately following the welcome of the people, the priest, the deacon, or a lay ministry may provide a brief introduction to the faithful on the day’s Mass.” The entry antiphon is therefore spoken before making the sign of the cross in the absence of musical accompaniment.
- As previously mentioned, there are four alternatives available in the United States.
- The introit, also known as the entrance chant, is chanted to a specified text that is thematically tied to the current season of the church year.
- It was composed between the years 692 and 731, although it is likely to represent customs that had already been established at the time of writing.
- Although the chant settings got increasingly complex throughout time, it became typical to sing simply one verse of the psalm along with the Glory be to the Father and then to sing it again when the antiphon was repeated.
- 50 states that the priest begins Mass when “the entrance chant has completed,” I do not feel that this necessitates a psalm to be sang in its whole at the beginning of the service.
- According to the guidelines on liturgical music released by the United States bishops, entitled “Sing to the Lord,” this position is supported by the evidence.
After the entire liturgical assembly has been gathered, an Entrance chant or song is sung as the procession with the priest, deacon, and ministers enters the church, with the purpose of ‘opening the celebration, fostering unity among those who have gathered, introducing their thoughts to the mystery of that particular liturgical season or festivity,’ and accompanying the procession of the priest and ministers.'” “143.
- There should be no arbitrary omission of verses or stanzas in a way that might alter the meaning of the poem.
- In such instances, both musical directors and priests must work together.
- Thus, the practice of patience and generosity will lead to a more enjoyable celebration as a result of the total effort.
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The entrance procession and active participation
Contributing Writer Ian Bozant wrote this article. What is the purpose of the opening procession? Following our preparation for the sacred mysteries by inward prayer and dedication, the first thing we observe is an entry procession, which is accompanied by music. Throughout religious worship, processions are used to accompany the congregation, as can be seen in many instances of the church’s liturgical life, such as the Mass (entrance, presentation of gifts, and recessional), eucharistic processions, Palm Sunday procession with palms, funeral procession, and so on.
- In all of these instances, the procession serves as a symbol of triumph and royal authority, as well as a reminder of our own Christian trek from this world to our ultimate reward in heaven.
- We bear witness to the triumphal arrival of the standard of our salvation – the cross – and are reminded that this life is transient and serves only as a preparation for the life that will come after it.
- Standing is our stance throughout this procession, which is taken from sacred Scripture, where the people of Israel “would rise up and worship” each time Moses entered the Tent of Meeting, where the Tabernacle was placed, as a representation of their response (Ex 33: 7-11).
- What is the purpose of beginning with an introductory hymn?
- The entrance song, which unites the faithful who have gathered in a spirit of pilgrimage, may be seen in this scene.
- For example, if the tabernacle containing the Eucharist is housed in a sanctuary, the priest bows his head as a symbol of reverence before the Eucharist.
- The reason for the priest kissing the altar after entering the sanctuary is not entirely clear.
Within seconds after finishing the procession, the priest and deacon kiss the altar, which they had done after putting the Book of the Gospels down.
Using relics on the altar dates back to the early Christian community, who would assemble in secret to celebrate Eucharist in the Roman catacombs on the tombs of martyrs who had perished during the persecutions.
So, what exactly does it mean to “participate completely conscious and actively?” When preparation for a discussion about the Mass, it is critical to grasp the nature of our participation in the commemoration of the sacrifice.
Part of this is achieved through the involvement of the faithful during the responses at Mass, which include both recitation and musical interjection.
Because of the focus put on active involvement in the years after the Second Vatican Council, we have seen significant benefits in our lives.
In the sacrificial giving that he once made historically and that is symbolized in the sacramental celebration of the liturgy, Archbishop Hughes remarked, “what is extremely essential is that we are interiorly joined with him.” What did Blessed Pope John Paul II have to say about the need of “full participation” in the Eucharist?
- Active participation in worship indicates that, via gesture, speech, song, and service, all members of the community take part in a worship service that is anything but inert or passive, as opposed to inert or passive participation.
- However, this desire for active involvement is not limited to the specific ministries of a given parish, nor is it the most prominent example of active participation in a particular parish.
- As a matter of fact, it is precisely in this inward disposition that we achieve complete membership in the common priesthood, which is the ultimate purpose of active involvement in the Church.
- This inward disposition and active involvement, which are developed by prayer and reverence for the sacred mysteries, shall bear the most abundant of fruits in their time.
Ian Bozant is a second-year theologian at Notre Dame Seminary, where he is preparing to serve the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It is possible to reach him via email at [email protected]
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The purpose of the parts of the Mass we sing – Liturgy.life
When the COVID-19 epidemic struck, we were unable to participate in the liturgy, which was one of the tragic consequences. When we were all huddled together and only a cantor and a keyboard player were providing musical accompaniment for live streaming Masses, there was a glimmer of singing. However, we were unable to hear the collective voice of the assembled assemblage. We were warned not to sing during liturgy once we were permitted to congregate in small or limited groups because singing may spread the virus at a faster pace than other forms of communication.
It is not the case.
According to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Although it is not always necessary (for example, during weekday Masses) to sing all of the texts that are, by their nature, meant to be sung, every effort should be made to ensure that singing by the ministers and the faithful does not take place during celebrations that take place on Sundays and holy days of obligation.” (40)When singing must be limited, whether for pastoral reasons or as a result of a pandemic, it is essential that some pieces are constantly performed.
Based on the notion of progressive solemnity, this is what we’re doing.
At the parish-wide Easter Vigil, for example, a greater proportion of the liturgy is sung than at a weekday Mass during Ordinary Time. In the liturgy, there is a hierarchy of sung portions that must be followed. Download for free: “Does your liturgy stand out from the crowd?”
Dialogues and Acclamations
Many novice liturgical planners are unaware that the dialogues and acclamations in the liturgy receive the most attention when it comes to musical selections. The dialogues are frequently spoken in many parishes, and it might appear as though this is the standard in some places. We are more likely to hear them sung at more formal services. However, this is not the intention of the church. We should constantly be singing the following elements as a matter of course:
May the Lord’s blessings be upon you. As well as with your spirit. The Lord’s Word is the most important thing. God is to be praised. The Lord’s Gospel is a collection of passages from the Bible. Lord Jesus Christ, we give you our heartfelt praise. In a perfect world, the “Lord be with you” dialogue would always be sung; nevertheless, on more somber or joyous occasions, the introductory prayer (collect) and the prayer following communion may be chanted instead. Additionally, while the “Gospel of the Lord” discourse would be sung at most liturgies, the chanting of the Gospel itself would be reserved for more formal and ceremonial liturgies like as Christmas and Easter, respectively.
Acclamation of the gospel Great Amen to the Holy, Holy Memorial Acclamation Whenever possible, these dialogues and acclamations should be sung. They should be basic enough that even individuals with poor vocal abilities should be able to sing along with them. They should also be known enough that they can be sung from memory, of course.
For this reason, God’s conversations are the most important part of the liturgy that we sing because they represent the nature of God’s relationship with us. God loves us and is always reaching out to us, and we are constantly responding to God’s love. When we sing the ritual dialogues, we are reaffirming our understanding of God as well as educating the catechumens and children about God’s character and actions. The acclamations are tied for first place since they are all basically gestures of praise and adoration in their own right.
As a result, the acclamations are always performed in song.
This is founded on the notion of increasing solemnity, which is explained more below.
Antiphons and Psalms
For this reason, God’s conversations are the most important part of the liturgy we sing because they represent the nature of God’s relationship with us. God loves us and is always reaching out to us, and we are constantly reacting to his love and reaching out to him. When we sing the ritual dialogues, we are reaffirming our understanding of God as well as teaching the catechumens and children about God’s nature and actions. Because they are primarily expressions of praise and adoration, all of the acclamations are tied for first place.
This is why there is usually singing during the applause.
It is always necessary to sing some passages even when singing is restricted, whether for pastoral reasons or because of a pandemic. According to the notion of increasing solemnity, this is done in a gradual fashion. To Tweet, simply click here.
One of the purposes of the Responsorial Psalm is to encourage people to meditate on God’s Word (see General Instruction on the Roman Missal, 61). It is, in reality, a declaration of God’s very own word on the subject. For this reason, it is always appropriate for it to be performed from the ambo, where the other readings take place. The antiphons are sung to accompany the procession into the church and the procession into communion. The processions themselves serve as analogies for the worshiping community as a whole, as the People of God gathered in one place.
The antiphons or hymns that we sing throughout these processions serve as a constant reminder of the significance of our mission as followers of Christ.
Refrains and Repeated Responses
The answer we give to the general intercessions (for example, “Lord, hear our plea”), the Kyrie, and the Lamb of God are all considered to be of third-level importance in liturgical singing, according to the Vatican.
The objective of the universal intercessions is to enable us to fulfill our responsibilities as members of the baptized clergy. As a priesthood, we have a responsibility to pray to God on behalf of the people of the world. Singing our intercessory prayer raises the importance and dignity of what we do as a baptized priesthood and helps us to feel more connected to God. The Kyrie and the Lamb of God are liturgical prayers that were always chanted in the early church, and they are being sung today.
“DOES YOUR LITURGY STAND OUT?” is a free PDF download.
Strophic hymnody was not originally included in the Roman Catholic Mass when it was established. Liturgy, on the other hand, is a living, breathing phenomenon that changes and adapts to the cultures in which it is seen. Hymns became increasingly popular in the Catholic Church as time went on. In spite of this, hymnody is still ranked fourth (and last) in significance among the music that must be sung during Mass according to S ing to the Lord and other publications. Almost everyone knows where hymns should be placed during a service: during the entry procession, during gift preparation, during the communion procession, during the recessional, etc.
Each of these hymns has a specific purpose, as outlined below.
Each of these hymns has a specific purpose, as explained below.
Preparation of gifts song
While the gifts for the eucharist are being brought forward, music is playing in the background to accompany the procession and the preparation of the altar for the celebration. However, unlike the entrance song, the goal of the music in this context is just to provide background music to the ceremonial action. It’s possible that the music will be entirely instrumental, with no vocals.
Alternatively, the choir or cantor may be singing alone, without the presence of the entire congregation. Occasionally, instead of singing a strophic hymn, this might be an appropriate place to commence the singing of an antiphon.
Song during communion
The antiphon or a hymn can be sung at communion, depending on the circumstances. The song’s objective is to “convey the communicants’ spiritual oneness via the unison of their voices, to demonstrate pleasure in their hearts, and to emphasize more clearly the ‘communitarian’ aspect of the procession to receive Communion,” according to the song’s lyrics (General Instruction on the Roman Missal, 86). Most churches, it seemed to me, fall short of this ideal when it comes to the hymn that is played during communion.
Also, because of the communal nature of communion, this song (whether antiphon or hymn) begins immediately after the priest consumes the body of Christ, regardless of whether it is an antiphon or hymn.
The singing will have to continue while the choir is getting communion, as a result.
Rather than being a ceremonial aspect, the recessional song is more of a social habit. It is not needed, and in the liturgy, there is no allocated antiphon for the recessional, thus it is not included here. But to suggest that the recessional song is a custom does not minimize its significance in helping to create an atmosphere of togetherness and mission among the members of the church community. It is frequently regarded as a musical high point in the service. To be sure, instrumental music or even silence might be used to accompany the procession of ministers at the conclusion of a less serious liturgy.
As soon as we understand the purpose behind each of the sung sections of the liturgy, we may prioritize the sequence in which they must be sung, as follows:
- Dialogues and acclamations (Gospel Acclamation, Holy, Holy, Memorial Acclamation, etc.) are included.
- Kyrie, Lamb of God, and other litanies
- Entrance and Communion Antiphons (unless songs are substituted)
- And Psalm of Thanksgiving, maybe in a straightforward recited format
- Hymns (for the preparation of gifts as well as the recessional)
No matter how difficult it may be to do without musical accompaniment, every effort should be made to sing the acclamations and conversations.
Photo byMateus Campos FelipeonUnsplash
This Sunday, I’d want to start a series on the Mass, in which I’ll explain the significance and history of what we perform on Sundays. When you think about it, it’s astonishing how few Catholics are aware of or think about what we do on Sundays. This is an endeavour to enrich our celebration of the Sacred Liturgy by providing insight and knowledge to those who participate. The entrance song and the procession song – The opening of every Mass is marked by the occurrence of something truly spectacular.
- As the priest prepares at the rear of the church to begin the Mass, the congregation rises to their feet and sings a hymn of thanksgiving as the priest travels down the aisle.
- What exactly is it?
- No, not at all.
- The priest acts in the person of Christ and represents Jesus in the congregation.
- Jesus Christ is going down our aisle, and we are greeted with a chorus of thanksgiving.
- As a result, rather of seeing “Father Smith,” see Jesus and allow him to minister to your needs.
- Nevertheless, by the 4thcentury, once the persecutions against the Church had finished, more substantial, and in some cases quite substantial, ecclesiastical institutions had sprung up.
As a result, the procession to the altar was significantly longer, and as a result, it gained additional meaning and importance.
As a result, the inclusion of music was a logical fit.
The human voice was the only source of music in the early Church, and as a result, the only thing that added color to this entry procession was the singing.
During the procession to the altar, the verses of the psalm that had been chosen would be chanted antiphonally together.
Gradually, the Antiphons began to take precedence over the actual psalm.
In order to synchronize with the entrance of the participants of the procession in the shrine, it became customary to abbreviate the psalm before it was sung.
In the course of time, the Entrance song was simplified to include only the following elements: An antiphon, which is generally taken from scripture, only one line of a psalm, a Glory Be, and a repetition of the antiphon are all used.
You may sing this Entrance Antiphon, sing a hymn that is appropriate for the Liturgy and the season, or you can utilize this Entrance Antiphon as a spoken or recited text in the absence of music.
Gregorian Chant is used in this piece, and the text is Gaudeamus Omnes in Dominino.
Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum, et dico ego opera mea regi, & dico ego opera mea regi.
The angels are rejoicing and praising the Son of God as we celebrate a feast in honor of the Virgin Mary, whose solemnity we commemorate today.) Psalm: I pour forth a good message from my heart, and I dedicate my work to the Lord my God.
Every aspect of the beginning, present, and future will remain the same, world without end. Amen) Modern churches have replaced this type of singing with an introductory hymn, while the singing of Introits is still encouraged and authorized in many places.
On Entrance Antiphons during the Procession
During the beginning of Mass this weekend, you will notice something a bit different about the procession of the cross, altar servers, and priest that you haven’t noticed before. Instead of singing a hymn during the procession, we will all be chanting a chant (in Latin, English, or Spanish, depending on your preferred Mass time). What is the rationale behind this, and why do we need to alter our usual practice of starting the service with a hymn instead? This page aims to give some insight on the Church’s objective behind the practice of Entrance Chants during the procession, which has been a source of contention for some time.
Known together as “Introductory Rites,” these three actions serve to ensure that “the faithful, who join together as one, establish communion and prepare themselves appropriately to listen to the Word of God and enjoy the Eucharist in a worthy manner.” – (Generic Instruction of the Roman Missal, number 46) Because we are both God’s loyal and fallible human beings, we require the assistance of these Introductory Rites in order to cultivate a prayerful disposition and to better understand the Mysteries of the Mass.
- According to Her divine wisdom, every single Sunday, Feast Day, and weekday of the year, readings that accompany the Entrance of the clergy are assigned by the Church!
- The texts of these Antiphons are frequently Psalms or other passages from Scripture that are relevant to the day’s feast or readings, although they can be from any portion of the Bible.
- Entrance Antiphons are intended to serve a specific function in the Entrance Procession by supporting it in song.
- (GIRM, number 47) For better or worse, the Entrance Antiphon serves to establish the tone for the day’s celebration as the ministers enter the church.
- Because it is scriptural, it serves as a reminder that this is something that has come “from the heart of God,” as it were.
- This is a fantastic question, and the GIRM technically allows you to ask it.
In terms of Entrance Antiphons, the following are the alternatives available through GIRM: “There are four alternatives for the Entrance Chant in the Dioceses of the United States of America: (4) another liturgical chant that is appropriate to the sacred action, the day, or the season; (5) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another setting; (6) the antiphon and Psalm from the Graduale Simplex for the liturgical time; (7) the antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of (GIRM 48) GIRM 48 What exactly does this imply?
- Well, the usual practice of using a hymn to accompany the Procession instead of the Entrance Chant comes under the fourth option, which is theoretically the least desired to the Church because it is only intended to be used when none of the other alternatives are feasible.
- When the resources are available, why not sing the Antiphon text that has been particularly authorized by the Church for the celebration of that day instead of a regular hymn?
- (Second Amendment, Section 121) It is most appropriate for use at Mass to employ the Entrance Antiphons since the texts of these hymns are taken straight from divinely revealed scripture.
- In conclusion, Entrance Antiphons have traditionally been performed to chant tunes.
- On the integrality of chant in the Mass, entire books have been written, 2and chant works particularly well for processions, as has been demonstrated.
- In this processional performance, the participants make deliberate movements, and the music itself conveys a feeling of movement.
- 124) describes the musical shape of the liturgy as follows: I couldn’t think of a more fitting musical background for the seriousness and controlled delight of the parade.
- (112th Session of the Sacrosanctum Concilium).
- It is possible to observe that the initial word of the Entrance Antiphon has come to be used to name the entire feast on occasion.
- This is the first words of the text (also known as the “incipit”).
The Musical Form of the Liturgyby Dr. William MahrtGraduale Romanum (Roman Catholic Church) Emma serves as the Director of Sacred Music at St. Theresa the Little Flower and Blessed Sacrament Catholic Churches in New York City.
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- My question concerns the person who previously chose the music.
- Is there something I need to know about picking the entrance song that is important?
- What the revised Introduction to the Sacramentary (also known as the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, or GIRM, for short) says regarding the Entrance Song is summarized as follows: Para47.
- With this chant, the celebrant seeks to initiate the celebration, build solidarity among those who have assembled, draw the listeners’ attention to the mystery of the liturgical season or festival, and join the priest and ministers in their procession.
- The singing at this period is done either alternately by the choir and the people, or in a similar manner by the cantor and the people, or totally by the people, or by the choir alone, depending on the style of the service.
- A suitable liturgical song, approved by either the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, that includes an antiphon from the Roman Missal or a Psalm from the Roman Gradual, set to music either in the Roman Missal or in another musical setting
- The seasonal antiphon and Psalm from theSimple Gradual
- A song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by either the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including
Let’s clarify what paragraph48 means, using the Sixth Sunday of Easter for our examples.Option1Auses the Antiphon from theRoman Missal. This is found in theSacramentary(the priest’s altar book) at the top of the page for the Sixth Sunday of Easter. It is also usually found on the first few pages of a Missalette. It is not found inWorshiporGather. The text reads: (Latin)Vocem iucunditatis annuntiate, et audiatur, annuntiate usque ad extremum terrae: liberavit Dominus populum suum, alleluia.(English) Speak out with a voice of joy; let it be heard to the ends of the earth: The Lord has set his people free, alleluia.The most faithful way to begin that Sunday’s Mass would be to have these words sung (in Latin or English) either by the choir, cantor, congregation, or a combination.
- Very, very few settings like this exist.
- This book, sometimes called by its Latin name,Graduale Romanum, offers Gregorian chant settings of the Latin Propers (the Introit, Responsorial Psalm, Alleluia w/verse, Offertory and Communion) for each Sunday and feast day.
- “Introit” is the Latin name for Entrance Song.
- alleluia, alleluia.” In addition, a psalm verse is added (“Iubilate Deo omnis terra: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, date gloriam laudi eius.”).
- This is the traditional formula followed for the Introit even before the new Mass of 1965.
- This book is available from CanticaNOVA Publications, along with a Guidebook to help users understand the Latin titles and rubrics.
- Rather, it selects certain simple chants and psalms and compiles two “seasonal” Masses for the Easter season (apart from specific ones for Easter Sunday, Ascension and Pentecost).
The Introit antiphon for one is, “Ego sum pastor bonus, qui pasco oves meas, et pro ovibus meis pono animam meam, alleluia,” with up to 9 verses from Psalm 23 available to sing.
These antiphons are much simpler than those in theRoman Gradual; the idea is that the congregation can learn to sing the antiphons, while the choir/cantor supplies the verses.There actually is an English translation of theSimple Gradual.
Ford has produced,By Flowing Waters, which uses the exact format as theSimple Gradual, but translates the Latin into English and adapts it to the same music (for the most part).
a “National Hymnal”).
These texts certainly have the approval of the bishops (of the Holy See, in fact) and are set in the preferred “refrain/verse” format.Option4is what almost every Catholic church in this country doeseverySunday!
they never “approved” any collection of music!
Until useful materials become widely available, we must substitute, even by using Option4.You indicated that in the past, a regular pattern of using an Entrance Song fromWorshipand a Communion Song fromGatherwas followed.
Most of the hymns inWorshipare traditional and can be seen as “processional” or “march-like,” while most hymns inGatherare folksy and introspective, perhaps seen as more “meditative.” To be honest, I would swing the balance much more towardWorship– many of the theologically-suspect contemporary hymns inGather(like “Ashes” and “On Eagle’s Wings”) are coming under scrutiny by a sub-committee of the US bishops headed by Bishop Allen Vigneron of Oakland CA.Now might be the time to wean your congregation away from some familiar but “theologically-loose” songs inGather[see the article,Where Is Duke Street?
]My overall suggestion to you would be to continue to use good standard hymns (mainly fromWorship) with which the congregation is familiar.
but the “simple” question was deceptively complicated. Thanks for reading all this!Gary PenkalaCanticaNOVA Publications